Last week the NFL Coaches Association filed a brief in the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals supporting the players in the labor entanglement with the owners and requesting the NFL lockout end immediately. Basically, the brief said that the coaches, like the players, were suffering without the offseason and, in some cases, without pay.
The headlines across the ticker on ESPN and in Sports Illustrated the next day went something like this: "Coaches Support Players In Lockout". This painted a picture of the coaches on the players' side, and not the owner's side.
The only problem?
The coaches apparently weren't consulted before the brief was filed. Apparently, Larry Kennan, head of the Coaches Association, says all teams should have been notified but that's clearly not the case. Since then, a number of coaching staffs, including the Redskins, Jaguars and Texans, have come out and disassociated themselves with the brief.
Speaking to Adam Teicher of the Kansas City Star this week, Chiefs head coach Todd Haley joined those teams saying he was surprised by the brief and that it did not come on behalf of the coaches. Check out his full comments at the Star.
Coaches are in a difficult situation. They need to side with management but they also work closely with the players. Haley needs to play both sides of the fence here and I can't imagine it's an easy task. Frankly, his approach so far has been a good one. He's just not talking about it and that's really the only thing he can do. Showing support to one side necessarily means you're not supporting the other side and he needs the support of both. Sometimes the best move is to just stay out of it.
The Chiefs, Redskins, Jaguars, Saints, Rams and Texans are the teams who have publicly said the brief did not come on behalf of their staffs. We'll see if more are coming.